GARY STRANGER (BRITISH B. 1970)
signed Gary (to the reverse)
enamel on aluminium panel
60 x 60 cm (23 1/2 x 23 1/2 in)
Gary Stranger from the MSK crew is a UK based artist who started out on the art scene in the ‘90s writing graffiti and since then has become world famous for mixing street art with the more refined world of typography. The artists original piece Refresh is currently part of The Royal Academy of Art’s Winter Exhibition, London, 2020. His works can be spotted all over the world on walls and surfaces including Fendi’s roof. This was part of Fendi’s The Ring of the Future project which saw circular artwork featuring the word Future painted in six languages on the roof of the fashion house’s Roman headquarters.
Stranger quickly became one of the big names in the UK street art and graffiti scene, his preciseness and skill setting him aside. Focusing chiefly on typography, his type is always stunningly executed, resulting in imagery that’s almost impossible to believe it’s created free-hand. Over the past decade he has moved away from the traditional graffiti aesthetic and towards that of typography which he always has had a passion for, having studied the subject. He co-founded (together with Pref) Typographic Circle, a group of artists and a developing movement in the urban art world. Those involved in this movement share a desire to create art which explores the boundaries of topographic design. It combines the individual style and originality of the graffiti world with the constraints of type-making and type setting.
Stranger has explained that he uses his art as a form of personal development, ‘the filtered outcome of an internal monologue’. He explains it as ‘talking therapy for me without me having to say anything out loud. The paintings and prints I make using a single word or phrase will be because that word has particular poignancy to me at the time’. This shows the personal connection Stranger has to his works and although he is ‘unlikely to disclose to the viewer why [he] chose that word or sentiment’, it is possible for the viewer to feel this strong emotional pull that the work evokes.
Recently Stranger has been striving to make his work ‘more minimal, trying to strip it back as much as possible’. The cleanliness of line clearly remains a focus for Stranger who works in spray paint almost exclusively, a notoriously difficult medium to control. One can see his use of negative space to allow the lettering ‘to be able to breathe’ as an essential aspect of Strangers distinctive style. OH NO is a perfect example of this pursuit of perfection whilst still managing to evoke an emotional response in the viewer through the power and control of the bold and overlapping letters.
Estimated at £2,500 - £3,500